Electrochemical deposition of metals represents an important approach in the bottom-up fabrication of nanostructures and microstructures. We have used this approach to generate high-performance chip-based biosensors using silicon as a platform for the generation of sensor arrays. Here, we explore the applicability of different materials to support the electrodeposition and identify the parameters that are essential for robust sensor growth. We show that inexpensive materials can be used as templates for electrodeposition, and demonstrate that these low-cost sensors exhibit clinically-relevant levels of sensitivity and specificity. In particular, we prove herein that the glass-based sensors successfully detect E. coli in urine, when present at the 100 cfu μL(-1) levels found typically in samples of patients with urinary tract infections.